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Zodiak to invest $50m to build US presence

Zodiak to invest $50m to build US presence
News
Tim Dams
08 October 2012

European production outfit Zodiak Media is to invest $50m in a bid to grow its business in the US market.

Run by former RDF Media chief executive David Frank, Zodiak Media is based in London and comprises 50 production companies in 20 countries including RDF, Touchpaper, Yellow Bird, Italy’s Magnolia and France’s Marathon. Its credits include Being Human, Location, Location, Location and The Secret Millionaire. The superindie group is majority owned by Italy’s DeAgostini Group.

Jonathan Slow, chief executive officer for Zodiak Americas, said that the US currently accounted for less than 10% of Zodiak’s annual revenues of $550m.

Speaking at Mipcom, Slow added that Zodiak aimed to derive 20% of its total revenues from the US market within the next three years.

Slow said Zodiak would look to hire new talent and acquire businesses  to drive growth in the US.
“The message is that we are very serious about this and it is a high priority,” said Slow.

The US is the largest TV market in the world, and Zodiak’s relatively small presence there is at odds with the experience of most other superindie groups –like All3Media and Shine Group – which have built good business across the Atlantic.

One of the highlights of Zodiak’s programme portfolio is Being Human, which is a hit in both the UK and the US for BBC Three and Syfy US respectively.

Chief executive David Frank described Zodiak as a “Eurocentric business”, with a large footprint in the UK, France and Italy – but without a strong presence in Germany. He also said Zodiak would look at “addressing that in the next couple of years.”

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